Photo: C & D Frith
Australia's Wet Tropics
Regent Skipper (Euschemon rafflesia) This butterfly belongs to the family Hersperiidae.When resting, the adults open their wings almost flat (although this is normally how moths rest).Adult Regent Skippers usually fly within the rainforest.Females are often seen circling a target plant prior to deciding on which branch to lay her eggs.Larvae feed on rainforest understorey shrubs.The male regent skipper (found in the Wet Tropics) is the only butterfly to lock its fore and hindwings together during flight - which makes it the most primitive of the world's butterflies. The females, however, are more advanced - as they have lost their frenulums. (Source: Environmental Protection Agency) The frenulum is a distinguishing features of moths, which locks the hind and forewings together in flight.This is of special interest to scientists, as this primative function is thought to represent a link between moths and butterflies.